Our Morning At Mattel Play Liverpool

17 May 2016

A few weeks ago we popped along to Mattel Play Liverpool for the first time. I'm not sure who was more excited about visiting, Little J or Me. I had read lots about the new interactive play centre and it was all positive. I was a little unsure about visiting at the weekend as I was worried it would be overcrowded so we headed down to the Albert Dock quite early on a Saturday morning.

If you are familiar with The Albert Dock, Mattel Play is situated in the corner close to What's Cooking (where This Morning used to be filmed). The actual building used to be Bug World but that was quite a few years ago. When you enter you will spot the cafe on the right, seating and the gift shop on the left and the ticket desk straight ahead. We arrived about 30 minutes before our timed slot began so we headed to the cafe for a quick drink before we started. Little J wanted kids lunch box at 10am, he had been up since 5am without breakfast so we bought it for him. I was really impressed with the sandwiches, they were a full sandwich, usually kids boxes just have half a sandwich inside.

Once we had our drinks and a snack we headed to the ticket desk to received our coloured wristbands. We were given a flyer and told our session was 2 hours maximum. We were shown the way to the first area which was just up the stairs.

Mattel Play has three themed zones and there is no set route or order to visit them in. At the top of the stairs is the entrance to Thomas although little J ran in the opposite direction and found Bob The Builder.

When you first enter the Bob zone there is an area with beanbags dotted around and a TV screen. We didn't see anything on the TV while we were there but I'm assuming they may play some TV Clips of the shows. There is a huge Scoop which you can sit in and Bobs office. When you enter Bobs office there are lots of hard hats and hi-vis jackets to put on before you head to the budding site to help build a house. There are lots of foam bricks which you can place in the house structure to help build it. Little J loved this and with the help of his brother too they built up one side but of course it was more fun to knock it back down. They also enjoyed jumping on a digger and digging up some sand.

Next we entered a duplo/lego area were we could make all types of creations. Little J loves lego so was happy to sit and build. I had a go myself but then we heard that Bob the Builder was popping out to say hello in 5 minutes so we headed to the beanbags to see him.

Once Bob came out the staff made everyone form a queue. When it was our turn we posed for a photo with Bob.

Next we headed to the Thomas zone. As soon as you enter you are greeted by a huge Thomas which you can sit in. Big J went ahead to look around then came bak to tell us there was a huge ball pit. Little J soon had his shoes off and was diving around with his brother. It really is big and we were lucky it wasn't busy. Just opposite the ball pit was another section full of foam bricks which you could build up or dive around in. I'm not quite sure what it was called but it was lots of fun.

After spending lots of time in the foam and ball pits little J hopped on board a train and peddled around the large track.

Last but not least we headed downstairs to little J's favourite area out of the three, Fireman Sam. It wasn't the cool Fire Engine, or boat with pretend water hoses that was little J's favourite it was the pretend shop. Yes little J spent the next 30 minutes pretending to be a shopkeeper. He played alongside the other children serving customers (namely Daddy) lots of fruit and veg.

Once we had finished we headed to the gift shop. As you had guessed the toys and gifts were mostly the characters that we had visited but they did have other bits such as hot wheels.

We spent just under 2 hours in the play centre and it went really quickly.


What We Loved

The three areas are completely different. Different activities and different things to enjoy.

In all three areas little J didn't really need any help with anything. It was nice to watch him get stuck in without the need for adult assistance.

There was plenty of benches around to sit down.

Meet and Greet with Bob was a nice surprise.

It was fairly quiet. We arrived at 10am on a Saturday morning.

Plenty of staff around. There was a staff member in the Bob area who was constantly picking up rogue pieces of lego and foam bricks to make it safer for the children as they could have tripped or slipped.

The ball pit in the Thomas zone was huge. Big J went in with his brother and he didn't look too big.

The pretend shop in the Fireman Sam zone. Little J absolutely loved this.

What Could Improve

Nothing. As it is just opened everything is fresh and clean. No signs of wear to any of the activities.


The standard price for a child ticket (aged 1-12) is currently £11 and each accompanying adult or child 13+ is £4. I think it is reasonably priced as there is just so much to see and do. Mattel Play Liverpool is open every day 9am - 6pm. You can claim 25% off parking (term time only) if you visit the family friendly car park, details can be found online.

For more information you can visit Mattel Play Liverpool and for more ideas on what to do with the kids in Liverpool check out this post by Zena's Suitcase

*we were asked to visit Mattel Play Liverpool for the purpose of this review. We entered for free but all thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own*


  1. That looks like so much fun! My little two would love to visit somewhere like this xx

  2. I would love to take my kids here. They love Thomas at the moment.

  3. My nephew would never leave this interactive play area if we took him lol it looks amazing and the pricing isnt too bad either

  4. Mattel Play looks like so much fun, I like that it is done in time slots which means that it does not get overcrowded.

  5. This looks like a place my nephew would absolutely just love x

  6. This looks ace, Lucas would love it. He gets excited just seeing a Thomas tank engine advert haha x

  7. This looks like such great fun! It seems like a really decent price too. x

  8. Looks like you had lots of fun. What a great idea!

  9. AHH THIS LOOKS SO MUCH FUN! I love the idea of putting on your high-vis jacket and going to build a house... but I'm also not surprised knocking it down was even better! I full well believe the two hours went quick, but hopefully you can have a return visit for more fun!

  10. Such a shame it is so far away from us, I know Sebby would adore it

  11. A good one for the diary in case we can get up to Liverpool during the summer. Thank you.

  12. This looks amazing
    Not far from me either
    Definately worth a trip
    Thanks for the review

  13. I haven't heard of this place before It looks really fun and educational.


Thanks for your comments. I love reading them :)